Sunday, September 13, 2015

Do Life 2015: The Paper Source

I sat for six hours yesterday in a windowless room, listening to someone talk about business and business strategies.

While I took a lot of good things away from it, I also felt some parts frustrated and some parts bored.

My reason for feeling a little robbed was because, even though the training had awesome parts, there was seemingly no room for individuality, freeness and light hearted laughter.

It was pretty scheduled, lots of fill in the blank notes (my least favorite kind) and not really any space for questions.

So, I sat in this room, full of like minded people, and the biggest take away I had was that most of us were being WAY too serious.

We all had something, if not many things in common, but we all basically sat there. Occasionally laughing at the speaker's jokes, but not a lot joking and laughing with each other.

You see, I love to laugh. About anything and everything.

If there is something funny, I am going to laugh loud and I am going to laugh long.

Someone once asked me "Do you even know HOW to be serious??"

Inside my head I really wanted to go tell them to piss off, but instead, I bit my tongue and gave the following answer:

"I have had a lot of pain and a lot of hurt in my life. Many situations in which seriousness and sorrow was the appropriate response. So, if I have an opportunity where I can choose to laugh or cry? I am going to laugh, every time. Because life is short and we should enjoy it."

They never mentioned it again.

And it is for the very reasons I mentioned, that I love to connect with and laugh with other people. Especially people I don't know, but have the opportunity to do so.

In retrospect, it wasn't a loss. I met lovely people, laughed with a few and am looking forward to connecting more of them later.

But man, if we had used ice breakers, or mini dance party breaks or used an open forum at the end, I feel like we all would have left a little fuller. I left feeling  pretty empty. Even though I sat in a room full of people all day.

After the session, I ran some errands and popped into one of my most favorite and wonderful stores, The Paper Source. This vintage, indie craft store always hooks me and causes me to spend too much money!

However, this particular store did something incredibly well, and I took note of it and plan on incorporating more of it into everything I do.

Let me walk you through my experience:

1) I walked up to the door with my hands full of these epic wire baskets from The Container Store. Which, while being awesome, prevented me from opening the door.

2) Mindie/Mandie (I cannot remember the right vowel!) opened the door for me. With the largest and most welcoming of smiles I might add!

3) When I asked her if I could leave my baskets at the front while I shopped, she said, "You can leave them right here with me so no one thinks they are for sale!"

4) I was then walked over to the items I was looking for and shown multiple options.

5) Mollie asked if I needed a basket, I said no. We chatted for a few. She laughed at my jokes, it was great.

6) My hands were getting more full because I don't know how to not buy cool stuff for people & my self...

7) Mindie/Mandie snuck up behind me, put ALL my COOL stuff in the basket and then winked at me as she took my stuff to the front. (I swear she must be Mrs. Clause in another life, because she is adorable)

8) I went up to pay and we all chatted and laughed some more. It was pure joy and delightful.

9) While Molly rung up my AMAZING trinkets,  Mindie/Mandie tried to sell me more Superhero Stuff and I just had to walk away... It was SOO hard!

10) Then, they asked if I wanted to come work there at Christmas, because, "You are so fun!" Not even going to lie, it was so tempting because they were adorable!

I have never in my life felt so delighted in when I was at a store, restaurant or place of business...

These ladies know where customer service and good people skills are at, and I took some serious notes!

What struck me the most when I got home later, was that I learned more about connecting with people in my 35 minutes hour and a half at The Paper Source than I did at 6 hours of business training.


Was the training good? Parts of it, yes. Did I leave feeling wanted or connected? Not really... Will I go to another one of these trainings? No, probably not.

Were the items at the store a little spendy? Yes. Did I leave feeling wanted or connected? Absolutely! Will I go back to this particular store? That's a trick question, right?

My take away then was this - the greatest part of doing life is connecting with people. Knowing them, learning about them, delighting in them and just being around them.

The speaker said yesterday, "You aren't in business to make friends!"

Um, Sir? Yes we are. We are in LIFE to make friends and if it's the right kind of business, you will have TONS of friends.

People don't go to the 5-star restaurant across the street when their best friend opens an epic Italian restaurant across town.

People don't buy million dollar art from a gallery when they fall in love with the watercolor paintings their friend did for them.

And this is why I disagree, because if your business is not about friends, then your business is not about people, it is about profit.

If your life is not about loving people, then what is it about? Because every single aspect of your life includes other people in some way, shape or form.

And people are great. Sometimes they are annoying, but then, so am I. But most of the time people are great.

Yesterday I was going about doing life, and I made two new friends - Molly and Mindie/Mandie.

They are the best and I will drive all the way to Bellevue just to see them because they are so great.

Doing life is awesome you guys. Especially when you make new friends, buy a book about kale and get the LAST Wonder Woman apron....


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Do Life 2015: Do Your Own Life

I woke up at 4:30am.

Without an alarm.


However, my aunt and I have a philosophy that if you wake up early without and alarm, then it must be time to pray about something important.

This morning though, instead of prayer, I spent some time mulling over something that has left me puzzled for about a week.

For sake of clarity, I will backtrack slightly.

The past two years I have had a personal theme for each year, and then have tried to blogged about it.

I have great intentions, but not enough time..

Anyway... 2014 was the year of love... (read about it here)

And 2015 has been about doing life. It has been amazing! 

(So amazing in fact, I haven't blogged since

I have however, read a lot of BuzzFeed articles. Not always sure that is a good life choice...

I mean, I can justify I use BuzzFeed to read the news, or I can be honest and say I really just take quizzes telling me where I should live based on my donut preference.

Which comes with a completely legitimate result thank you very much!

Back to my mulling and pondering...

The last few weeks have been filled with articles about people's failings, people's stupidity, people's lack of tact, etc.

What always surprises me though, is not the number of articles written, but in the number of people who think they have the answers for these people and their problems.

So wait...your life is in such great shape, you can write a blog post for someone you don't know, about something you haven't experienced for someone who will most likely never read it?


You mean to say that you have so much extra time on your hands, you can spend it writing about someone else's life vs your own?

Honestly...I'd rather read about your life. Maybe. Unless you write about snakes. Then I'm probably not going to read it.

I'd rather read about how Jesus is manifesting Himself in your life than your opinion on how another individual should or shouldn't live their life.

This is all coming from someone who is EXTREMELY opinionated and has to check herself all. the. time...

Personal Motto? 

Before I write about someone else or a situation, I ask myself these questions:

  1. Would I want this written about me?
  2. Do I know them/the situation well enough to even have this opinion?
  3. If I met them later on in life, would I be embarrassed I wrote this?
All that to say, even though I have many strong and possibly valid opinions, they don't all need to be written down and forever immortalized on the Internet.

Sometimes they can just stay in my home group. Or in my journal. Or in my head.

It feels like people are really free with opinions about situations that will probably never affect them. And if they finally do? Those who spoke the loudest initially are the most quiet in the end.

Final thought?

Stop writing about everyone else's life and go out and live your own.

The story Jesus is writing with you is the best one to tell anyway.